Carry On Screaming! looks and feels every bit the Hammer pastiche it’s meant to be. Director of photography Alan Hume, himself a Hammer veteran, creates an atmosphere perfectly in keeping with the Hammer style, adding a welcome authenticity. It’s a magnificently creepy film, too. I can clearly remember being thrilled and terrified by Carry On Screaming! as a child and even today, the sight of Jon Pertwee’s doctor, broken and discarded is a genuinely gruesome sight.
While there are genuine scares on offer, Carry On Screaming! strikes the perfect balance between comedy and horror. Talbot Rothwell’s script takes in all the traditional Carry On tricks. Sauciness, subtle wordplay, sexual stereotypes and his usual collection of different comedic styles but an extra helping of Grand Guignol adds a fresh new dimension. Twelve films into the series and the Carry Ons have never been quite so accomplished, so daring and so out-and-out funny.
The sublime double act between leading man Harry H Corbett and the always-wonderful Peter Butterworth is the highlight of the film. Sid’s absence from a role which was created for him is soon forgotten and, as much as it hurts me to say it, I don’t think Sid could have done a better job. Throw in a literally smouldering performance from Fenella Fielding and the result is something very special indeed.